Where the hell is it?


Two years ago, Popular Science and Autoblog Green ran pieces on a former IBM engineer, Dr. Charles Perry, that won an award and subsequent funding for an idea that would make it feasible for everyone to drive a hybrid. I wrote about it on my other blog (before I created this one specifically for cars, because I was droning on far too much about them there), and again here in the series on alternative fuels.

It’s been two years, and nothing more has surfaced. The PopSci article said there’d be an experimental phase involving fleets of government vehicles, and the system would be commercially available by next year. Shouldn’t some sort of inkling on progress have come out by now? Have they hit a massive snag? What’s going on? The hybrid retrofitting concept, along with the algal fuel production idea, were my two favourite alt-fuel short/mid-term solutions for the fuel crisis. The long-term solutions will probably involve the shockwave generator and/or the split-cycle engine, but as I kept insisting in the alt-fuel series, intermediate solutions are needed, so that we don’t mass-trash our current vehicles and create unnecessary problems in the process.

And another thing that makes new breakthroughs urgent is the current madness that surrounds electric cars. Read this carefully, people: EV’s are not the future. I don’t care what a stupid German who did 100,000km in a Tesla Roadster says (if he can sit around and wait for his car to recharge various times on a 800km-trip, he has far too much spare time on his hands), autonomy is shit and makes the things impractical. They attract spiders and rats, and you have to have a garage with your own private mains to recharge one. Plus, too many electric cars recharging will overtax the electricity grid, driving up fossil fuel consumption at the power station, throwing any environmental advantages EV’s might have had to shit.

So if EV’s continue to cement an undeserved reputation as eco and green, practical, and the next conventional type of automotive propulsion, we are in some deep shit. This’ll mean that research and development of other alternatives, such as the ones I’ve mentioned, will wind down and perhaps eventually peter out. And let’s face it, it was the lack of alternatives to fossil fuel-driven vehicles that led to our current situation, where people fight wars over oil, that then gets turned into exaggeratedly-priced fuel.

And this is when I wish I was a so-called A-list blogger, with a gazillion daily views. No-one’s going to read this swill, and it’s a shame because even though I can’t write silken prose to save my life, I wish I could help diffuse these pro-alt-fuel, don’t-get-too-carried-away-with-EV’s ideas properly.

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